Fittest and fastest reservists get ready to run

Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Pictute: LPhot Ioan Roberts

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TWO of Portsmouth’s fittest and fastest Royal Navy reservists are aiming to be among the top 500 finishers this Sunday when they take part in the Great South 
Run.

Able Seaman Harnish Patel, 35, pictured, and Lieutenant Rob Bakewell, 33, from HMS King Alfred will be taking part in the race.

AB Patel will wear the vest of the Victory Athletics Club after qualifying in the elite amateur group.

He has raced in the Bupa Great South Run for the past three years and aims to finish the course this year between 63 and 65 minutes.

He said: ‘I’m not up to my best form as I only started training again a few months ago but I hope to finish in just over an hour – depending on the weather.’

Two weeks ago, Harnish won his first piece of silverware, taking second place in the RNLI Pieces of Eight eight-mile road race in Southsea with a time of 50min 38s.

He also took part in the London marathon in 2012, raising funds for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

Lt Bakewell, from Portsmouth, is an amphibious warfare specialist. He is keen to take a top spot after a personal best of 61min 9s in training this week.

Lt Bakewell is a police officer with Hampshire Constabulary by day and has been a keen athlete since joining the navy in 2002.